Sunday, October 30, 2005

SCONES

"SCONES“ are a traditional tea time speciality served throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Nowadays, we find "SCONES" out of the United Kingdom in all variations (cornmeal, oatmeal, whole wheat, etc...) and combinations possible (pumpkin, chocolate, dried and candied fruits, cheese, herbs, etc...) . They are fastly prepared and are always well appreciated for their homely taste and soft spongy texture.

I remember that, during my holidays at my grandparents in England (Derbyshire), they were popular pastries offered to guests when they just came in a whizz to say a quick “hello” or when friends just came for an afternoon. At home, we ate “SCONES” quite regularly and now, I still perpetuate the tradition by baking this lovely treat whenever I want to eat something super fine, but easy to make for the supper. I generally serve them as a meal in themselves…

I’ve decided to give you two sweet “SCONE” recipes in order for you to bake the version you fancy the most depending on situations and your personal taste of the moment. Those recipes were taken from the 40th edition of BE-RO’s “Home recipes”, a book for all homebakers in search of good old English baked specialities! As usual, I deliberatly changed a few details in order for you to make this recipe as successful as possible.

~ Plain Scones ~

Makes 8 scones.

Ingredients:
230g Plain white flour
1 2/3 Tsp Baking powder
1/3 Tsp salt
60g Unsalted butter (or margarine)
Enough milk to make a soft dough (or 1 medium egg, beaten with enough milk to make 150ml liquid)
An egg and extra milk for the glaze

Method:
1. Heat oven to 220°C (425°F) and grease a baking tray.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt and sieve. Rub in butter.
3. Make a well in the center. Add milk and incorporate well (with the help of a knife) by cutting and turning the dough until it forms a clean ball.
4. Knead lightly on a floured surface and roll out to 1.8 cm (0.7 inch) in thickness.
5. Cut into 6.5cm (2 1/2 inches) rounds with a scone cutter*.
6. Brush the tops with egg and milk glaze.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes.

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~ Raisin Scones ~

Makes 8 scones.

Ingredients:
230g Plain white flour
1 2/3 Tsp Baking powder
1/3 Tsp Salt
50g Unsalted butter (or margarine)
25g Caster sugar
50g Currants, sultanas or raisins
1 Medium egg, beaten with sufficient milk to make 150ml liquid

Method:
1. Heat oven to 220°C (425°F) and grease a baking tray.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt and sieve. Rub in butter.
3. Stir in sugar and fruit.
4. Make a well in the center. Add egg and milk mixture, reserving a little for brushing the tops. Incorporate well (with the help of a knife) by cutting and turning the dough until it forms a clean ball.
5. Knead lightly on a floured surface and roll out to 1.8 cm (0.7 inch) in thickness.
6. Cut into 6.5cm (2½ inches) rounds with a scone cutter*.
7. Brush the tops with egg and milk glaze.
8. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Remarks:
A “SCONE” dough should be soft and spongy, but never too wet or sticky.Don’t work the dough too much; handle it very lightly for best results. Don’t roll out too thinly.


Serving suggestions:
Both “SCONE” versions are fine when they are halved, buttered and served with jam (raspberry, strawberry, apricot, etc…) and whipped double cream. “RICH SCONES” are also delicious when they are just halved and served buttered.*A plain or fluted round metal or plastic ring used for cutting out scones.

(Rich Scones -Pic 1 by Rosa www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com)
(Scones with jam and whipped cream -Pic 2 by http://is.freefoto.com)

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